As Christians, especially those who would call themselves reformed, like myself, we have a responsibility to plan (while seeking the face of the LORD) and be ready to act when the LORD opens a door for our petitions. The book of Nehemiah is a perfect example. If you have not read this great book, in GOD’S Word, for a while, take time to do so soon. If you notice the first thing Nehemiah does when he receives the bad news is to mourn, pray, fast and confess (not just the sins of the people –
but he and his father’s house) to GOD. Remarkably, though, what we see in chapter two is the preparation Nehemiah was doing while he was doing all the previous. Nehemiah had been thinking through what would be needed to complete the good work GOD had put in him, even praising GOD for the thoughts he had to rebuild the wall.
Plan & Act in Faith
We are called to be a praying people completely dependent on GOD in everything and for everything. Sometimes we mistakenly believe that dependance excludes using the minds GOD had already given and entrusted to us to bear fruit for HIS glory and kingdom. One of the greatest blessing we can have is the joy of submitting and using what GOD has entrusted, for HIM. When we use, according to GOD’S Word, that which the LORD has entrusted to us we glorify and delight HIM. It shows we are, by the HOLY SPIRIT, good stewards of the possessions of the LORD.
Is there something great the LORD has put in your heart? If so…seek HIM diligently as Nehemiah did. However, do not forget to plan as Nehemiah did. Seek the LORD ask HIS guidance and formulate a plan. Seek counsel, if necessary. Then when the LORD, in HIS good time, opens a door for you, pray and move forward. Yes, saints we are called to be a waiting and dependent people…but we are also called to be a people who, in faith, act on GOD’S Word. Grace and peace to all who call on the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
11 “O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man.” Now I was the cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered
1 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.
2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid.
3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”
4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
6 Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time.
7 And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah,
8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.
© 2017 Shane Sands. www.unitedinchristjesus.org.
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Shane Sands is the founder and president of United in Christ Jesus. In addition to local and statewide outreaches, he has organized and participated in numerous evangelism trips around the world and helped to establish a Reformed home church in Norway. Shane is a devoted husband to his wife, Holly and together they desire to follow the Lord’s leading to be based in Northern Ireland.